It's just all a number's game.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by nerwin, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know I'll probably get crap for this post, but listen. I needed to write this just get it off my chest. You don't have to reply.

    For the last year or so, I've been stressing out over my photography and having constant negative thoughts about my work whether or not it's good enough. I don't even take photos for myself anymore, I'm pretty much taking photos for other people in hopes they might like it and when they don't, I feel like crap and depressed. I feel like giving up, and it's getting to the point it's starting affect not just my mental abilities but my health as well. Sometimes it feels like I'm going to have a stroke over it.

    I found out what the problem I think is. It's social media. The notifications doesn't help either, luckily you can disable those. But I remember when I started shooting many years ago, I didn't care what people thought or how many likes, comments or favorites I got. I just took photos and shared them and had fun doing it. But lately it's all about numbers. It's about trying to get the most comments or likes/favorites rather than taking pictures for myself.

    Lately I've been trying to play the Flickr game as in trying to get on the "explore" page by uploading certain times, using certain groups, following trends, using certain tags on this particular day, commenting and favoriting 100s of other people's photos and quite frankly, it's time consuming and stressful. I spend more time doing that than actually trying to make photos.

    There is SO MUCH discussions about how you should shoot only ONE single subject, use just one lens and or focal length, have one editing style only, process your photos so they all look the same, blah blah. That's BORING to me. I'd flat out get bored. Am I wrong about this? I'm assuming most of these people are saying this because it will 90% of the time get you a higher following on social media instead of someone like me who likes to shoot a number of different subjects. But I guess that is wrong. It's all about numbers right?

    I'm not saying it's wrong to only shoot one subject, that's perfectly fine if you have a passion in that one subject, like wildlife, portraits, street, landscapes..etc. But what if you like all those subjects? Does that make you not a photographer?

    Photography is suppose to be a form of self expression, right?

    I follow so many amazing photographers out there and I love their work and I'm saying to myself, I wish I was them. They can upload any photo, even a crappy snapshot and they'll get instantly thousands of likes, favorites and comments on how great their photo is simply because they have a 25,000+ followers.

    I also know photographers who just as amazing, if not better and they have zero followers and their work is incredible. Yet, they don't give a crap whether or not their photos gets views, comments or likes, they simply do it because they love it.

    I don't know what to do anymore. I'm so lost. I don't want to give up photography, I love taking photos and some people seem to like them and others don't, I guess that's just the way it is. Sure, I could stop sharing my photos on these social media sites but I want to share my photos with the world. What's wrong with that?

    I think once I can get over these negative thoughts that linger in my mind about my photography and just take photos for myself and not for others, maybe that will actually help me become a better photographer over time instead of trying so hard to be "liked" by the world.


     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  2. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Likes and Views can be a bit addicting and in the grand scheme of things, unless you're a pro and looking for marketing opportunities, they mean absolutely nothing. Some of my most liked photos on Facebook or Instagram were just quickie phone shots that caught a fun moment or shots that I totally over edited on Snapseed and would never deem great or even good photos but they were all I had of a particular scene or person.

    Most everyone is disappointed when they share a photo that they think is great and it doesn't get the Likes they thought it would or it gets criticized in a forum like TPF. And yes, there are many photographers who have thousands of followers who like their mediocre (IMO) photos but that shouldn't matter to you. You're a good photographer. You have some great shots on your Flickr and you are dedicated to improving. That's all you need to care about. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and what everyone else thinks and just do what you love. If you love sharing your photos on social media then do so. Would you still take photos if no one would ever see them? I know that I would.
     
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  3. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you are that worried about what others think it might be a good idea to talk to a professional about such things. Sometimes there may be reasons you can address to help with this. The thing is if you give up photography, you may be giving up something you like only for the same thing or similar experiences to manifest somewhere else. I don't know you only from the forum, but you use strong words like stress and depression. Talk to someone for yourself and it may make you more content in other aspects of life also. I'm no expert but it can't hurt. BTW I like a lot of photos on flickr and other places but don't always hit the like button, others are probably similar
     
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  4. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you talking about being a good photographer or winning a popularity contest? You have to remember some of these people have fans. And well these people are on the band wagon. They will agree with someone else even if they don't mean it or understand what they are agreeing too. Just so they can belong! This happens with all sorts online. Just look at some of the Reality Stars online. They don't produce a single thing, or supply anything to society other than possibly some entertainment. And yet they have millions of followers who would agree instantly they were great photographers when they post a selfie of themselves in their underwear from their cell phones. It's because they want to be associated with someone. Even if they don't believe in that person or what that person stands for. They just want to belong.

    This also occurs with very famous people. Ansel Adams is a good example. Many of his subpar works have been released as "found" work. What it really is, are pictures that didn't make HIS cut. And he filed them away. And yet now that he's long gone, people look at them and say wow this great shot from Ansel Adams. And yet it was a picture he rejected! But because he was famous, his mistakes or subpar work (according to himself) now become great works. You can't compete against that! So, why worry about it. Let your surviving family members worry about it after your famous and long gone! :biggrin-93:
     
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  5. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    Social Media is a faux method of determining if your photo is good or not.
    There are so many technically absolutely horrible photos that get the "beautiful shot" etc etc.
    It's more of a extended family morale support group than anything else. Not anything to do with actual photographic norms.

    You have to do photography for yourself.
    Not for others, unless they are paying you for it.
     
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  6. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you have Netflix you should watch Season 3, episode 1 of Black Mirror. Very apropos.
     
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  7. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    That is one of the problems with "Social Media." It is generally neither Social nor is it media. I think you are on the right track. Shoot for @nerwin not for all the unknown electronic junkies.
     
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  8. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    I agree with the others, don't worry about likes/etc. I used to at first, but then I didn't care, haha.

    That said, it also depends on what subject you post, when you post, and what hashtags you use. Notice, I didn't say the quality of the shot.

    For example, my photos on IG usually get around 30-50 likes. Rare occasions, I'll get something above 60-70. I don't pimp my account out, nor do I do the "like for like" thing. In fact, I feel like I rarely post. The other day, I posted a picture of french fries around lunchtime (I think you liked it, haha). A friend of mine has an IG account for food (she's a big foodie, gets thousand plus likes on her food shots, big yelper, etc). I used a couple of her hashtags.

    Wow! I had 100+ likes in about a half-hour. Far more than usual. That's not a lot, but it was a lot compared to my norm.

    That said, it was a photo of french fries. I mean, not exactly breaking-the-internet, beautiful photo. No Beyonce with twins photo.

    Anyways, back to foodie friend. Her shots are mostly gratuitous shots of food, cheese, ice cream, etc. People like food. It doesn't matter how good the photo is (or how bad), they like the subject in the photo. So, she gets likes. Lots and lots of likes.
     
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  9. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Haha yeah. You can't go wrong with french fries.

    It's kind of the same thing for me. If I post nature shots, I get likes. If I post pictures of car stuff, I don't get many likes. Except from friends. It's odd.

    I often write descriptions in my IG posts and some people will write back with comments about it which means they actually took the time to read it, they didn't just double tap and means more to me than just a like. But kind of makes you feel like crap when you are use to photos gettin 30-60 likes and then one or two photos with 10.

    I bet it has a lot to do with algorithms too.
     
  10. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    cat expression.
     
  11. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My cat died :(
     
  12. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Surprising enough, since I have worked in the IT industry for 25 years, I have always stayed away from social media. Forums are the closest I get and I only use them for my hobbies. Don't have twitter, instagram or Facebook. I see how these take away so much time from people. I'd rather spend my time doing something real. Also rather not have my life online.

    Flickr is probably the closest I have got to social media. I started using it for somewhere to view my photos from anywhere and also to post in the forum. I am still not that skilled a photographer so never really expected to get a lot of likes or faves. But a few times a fell into that trap of thinking why people didn't like a certain photo that I thought was good.

    To be honest I would prefer, at this point, to get less likes but heavier criticism. I have so much more to learn and its the heavier criticism that helps the most.
     
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